Pursuing a Career in Optometry

Optometry is an expanding field that allows someone with a passion for healthcare to become part of a challenging and integrative career that incorporates more than just prescribing glasses and contacts. Several chronic medical diseases have a major impact on ocular health and vision, which has led to an increased focus on diagnosing and co-managing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. By protecting a patient’s vision, you are helping maintain a better quality of life, which is the ultimate goal in all healthcare professions.

In addition to a growing scope of practice in optometry, there is also a growing demand for optometrists. According to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, 38 million Americans will experience blindness, low vision or an age-related eye disease in their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that by 2050 the number of age-related macular degeneration cases will increase to 17.8 million Americans, and the number of people with cataracts will increase to over 30 million. This incredibly high demand for optometrists translates into job security.

Pursuing a Career in OptometryThis growing demand, however, does not change the fact that optometry is still a profession that provides a great balance between work and personal life. There are several different paths you can pursue, such as private practice in primary care, research and education, and have a specialty focus such as pediatrics. This gives someone the flexibility to tailor their career to their personal lives and professional goals, making both aspects extremely rewarding.

Optometry is about so much more than just vision. Optometrists make real differences in people’s lives, whether restoring sight to an elderly man so he can return to work or allowing a baby girl to see the world for the first time. Primary care optometrists spend triple the amount of time with patients as primary practice medical doctors, which helps create a better doctor/patient relationship. One would be hard-pressed to find more morally rewarding work than that of an optometrist.

The Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry program continues to grow along with the field, offering cutting-edge educational approaches and incorporating key competencies to provide students with the skills needed for contemporary practice. Early clinical experience as well as a 16-month externship program provide hands-on learning that is crucial for becoming an excellent clinician. The clinical skills lab for optometry students is currently underSalus Pennsylvania College of Optometry renovation and will feature 32 fully equipped bays for clinical practice on campus when completed. Some of the new technology will include a Virtual Reality Simulation Lab that will allow students to practice dilated procedures and Electronic Health Records in each bay. The updated technology provided on campus will ensure students are more than prepared to handle all aspects of the exam when they begin to see patients at The Eye Institute, the program’s main clinical facility. In addition, there are many renovations being made to the core academic curriculum that revolve around the advancements being made in the profession.

With the medical technology and scope of practice for optometrists continuing to grow, now is a great time to pursue a career in optometry.

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